Patricia De Lille blogPatricia De Lille has denounced the freedom of bloggers, asking government to crack down on bloggers. This follows a bout blog of criticism targeted at ID colleague, Simon Grindrod.

IOL reports that she's even applying to use tax-payer's money for a National Intelligence Service investigation to track the blogger down.

Fortunately, we live in a free and democratic country where this will not get very far. Perhaps, as Angus points out, MP De Lille will find a more sympathic government in communist China or North Korea?

The point of citizen journalism, as opposed to regulated mainstream media is free and natural expression of ideas by ordinary people (i.e. voting constituents). If these issues with Grindrod are being raised online, people are probably talking about them in natural conversation too. She could gain alot more benefit by paying attention to what is being said, and possibly responding in a public forum to the issues that have been raised. This is the meaning of "join the conversation".

This is why your fellow parliamentarians Helen Zille and Ebrahim Rasool from the DA and ANC respectively have social-media profiles... And I congratulate them for that.
Top Jobs - Fast Company Fast Company spoke with trend experts to create a slideshow called "Top Jobs in 2007".

Interestingly, number 6 top job was "Viral Marketers and Media Promoters":

"Not to be confused with someone in advertising or public relations, a viral marketer knows how to build an audience from nothing with little more than rumor and excitement. Viral Marketers begin "contagious" campaigns that spread largely through word of mouth and the Internet"

If this really does take off, then traditional media has another reason to be concerned, because alot of online viral marketing goes through unpaid channels like email, YouTube and blogs. This would mean more money going to intelligent marketing strategists at the expense of media owners.
AuthorDave Duarte
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Since the September 11th Bombings in New York in 2001, many people have argued that Islam has come under attack. And when the cartoon controversy raged last year, many people in the press accused Muslims of being unreasonable.

What I find interesting from the Marketing perspective is that all this debate has served to dramatically increase the number of Muslims in America!

One of the reasons is that many people have gone to do investigations to find out for themselves what Islam is all about. Then with the information they discover, some find that they agree with the principles of Islam and they convert.

The Marketing Principle at play here is that no publicity is bad publicity. It's far worse to be ignored.
AuthorDave Duarte
It's interesting to see how influential bloggers are becoming, even in South Africa... and rightly so!

I arrived early for a meeting with the owners of Mercury Live night-club today, and walked in on an intense debate they were all having about a post on a local music blog...

I was SO impressed with Mercury for paying attention to this blogger. They realise how valuable the candid feedback that comes through maven bloggers is. I'll be even more impressed when they join the conversation online.

Fellow bloggers: let's expect and demand better products and services. Companies: Pay attention!
AuthorDave Duarte
Apple's official podcasting logoA great way to generate more potential business (leads) is to provide thought leading content. That way, you catch people earlier in their buy-cycle when they are most susceptable to influence.Blogs, newsletters and whitepapers are great for this purpose.

I read a report that showed (among other things) that waaay more business people would consume your company's analyst reports and whitepapers if they were delivered in audio form (podcasts).

Just remember to keep it interesting, thought provoking and educational cos business people get bored too. Oh, and don't try sell anything - that's only relevant at a later stages of the buying process.
AuthorDave Duarte
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A focus group Moderator is a master of conversational guidance and flow. She has a very short time to get raport with a bunch of strangers, and then get all of them to discuss their feelings, anxieties, frustrations and the depth of their convictions around a particular topic. For some people that takes years, but a good moderator get to the heart of it in under an hour!
Since business is heading in a more conversational direction (e.g. Web 2.0), I thought I'd share three of the moderator's conversational tactics with you (*):

  • The Chain Reaction: Build a cumulative effect by encouraging each member of the focus group to comment on a prior idea suggested by someone else in the group by adding to or expanding on it.


  • Devils Advocate: Express extreme viewpoints to provoke reactions from the group and keep the conversation moving forward in a lively manner.


  • False Termination: Falsely conclude the discussion, thank the group for participating, and inquire whether there are any final comments. These "final comments" frequently lead to new discussion avenues and often result in the most useful data obtained.

Mark my words: As communication media proliferates, so does the need for people in businesswho can channel all that communication and put it to good use: Conversationalists! (e.g. Microsoft's Blogger, Scoble)

Get everyone involved

*From the textbook Marketing Research by Aaker, Kumar & Day

AuthorDave Duarte
CategoriesViral, Web PR